The Snake Pagoda

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Once upon a time, there was a big snake lived in a valley. This monster often harmed the nearby village. The villagers decided to kill it and did it. Since they feared the revenge of the snake,
they built a memorial tower.

Submitted: September 10, 2017

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Submitted: September 10, 2017

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The Snake Pagoda ~ The legend of the old seaside town in Japan - (1)

There is a five-ring stone pagoda in the rice field in Village W. From long time ago this has been said to be "Hebi - zuka"(Snake memorial tower). This pagoda used to be surrounded by a decorative fence about 2 meters square.

 

Once upon a time there was a giant serpent living in a nearby valley. This serpent often came out of the valley and harmed the villagers.

"Just the other day, our cow was attacked and eaten."

"Oh, have your cattle been attacked too? Both my cow and chicken were attacked by that serpent many times"

"I can not hold it anymore. We should not keep that serpent as it is."

The villagers lamented the damage caused by the serpent. And they finally became impossible to endure the serpent 's damage and gathered to talk about the serpent.

 

"Let's kill the serpent somehow"

"No, if you do that, we may be cursed later. It's horrible."

"If we leave it as it is, our lives will be messed up."

"Yes, that's it. Let’s collaborate with everyone to get rid of the serpent."

 

The villagers finally decided to get rid of the serpent. They cooperated and brought out a knife and eventually killed the serpent. It was a very big snake. The villagers who were afraid of revenge built a fine stone memorial tower to cure the spirit of the snake. This is what is called "Hebi-zuka" until now.

 

Also, according to another story, the five-ring stone pagoda was a mound for the repose of Lord Henmi who was the castle owner of the area. It has been said that the mound was originally "Henmi-zuka" for a long time and became "Hebi-zuka". Lord Henmi's later life was a conflict with political opponents and was unfortunate. From this fact, we can also understand the theory that this tower is "Henmi-zuka".

 

The Tamagaki (decorative fence around the pagoda) which surrounded the Hebi-zuka,  is now completely buried in mud and is out of sight. The legend of this tower is now only known among those studying the history of this place.

This memorial tower is said to be a work in the late Muromachi period (1393~1573). Now it is designated as a cultural asset of town T including village W.

 


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